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How to Start Thinking in German

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in German

Going through German lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of German, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in German. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between German and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the German vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in German

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through GermanPod101.com.

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1. Surround yourself with German

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with German constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a German radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of GermanPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then German words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in German.

GermanPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach German.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in German not only gets you in the mindset of German, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With GermanPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native German speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but GermanPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with GermanPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that GermanPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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3 Reasons Why Successful Students Learn German In the Car

Not only is it possible to learn German in your car, there are 3 great benefits that will help you master the language faster and with less effort.

With everyone so pressed for time these days, it might seem like a daydream to believe that you could learn German in your car—but it’s not! Thanks to a wide range of new technologies and resources, learning a language in your car is easier than ever. Not only is it easy to learn a language while driving, there are actually a number of benefits, especially if the lessons are part of a structured learning program like GermanPod101. Here are three specific benefits to learning German or any other new language in your car.

3 reasons why successful students learn german in the car

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1. Transform Downtime into Progress

How much time do you spend commuting to and from work? Learning a language in your car transforms your commute time into tangible progress towards your dream. So instead of being stressed over how much time you are “wasting” on errands and daily commutes, you can decompress and have some fun while you learn German in your car!

2. Daily Exposure Leads to Passive Learning

Practice makes perfect and learning a new language is no different. The daily exposure you get when you learn German while driving helps improve listening comprehension, pronunciation, and of course helps build vocabulary and improve grammar. Don’t worry: You don’t need to memorize everything as you listen in German while driving. Just having continuous exposure to a foreign language helps you improve your vocabulary, learn faster, and ultimately retain more through passive learning.


3. Learning While Driving is Fun

Learning a new language does require a serious commitment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! When you learn German in your car, you get to take some time away from the PC or smartphone and immerse yourself in the language instead of just “studying” it.

Plus, there are a number of “fun” activities that you can do and still learn in your car, such as:
- Singing Along with German Songs
- Playing Word Games or Trivia
- Just Listening Along and Seeing How Much You Can Pick Up and Understand

Want to Learn How to Get Angry in German? Pick-Up Lines? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

Yes, you can learn a language while driving and have loads of fun doing it. Now let’s take a look at some specific things you can listen to while driving to help you learn a new language.

BONUS: 3 Ways to Learn German in Your Car

-Listen to Podcasts: Typically designed to focus on one topic or lesson, podcasts are a great way to learn a language while driving. Unfortunately, podcasts are rarely at the same listening/comprehension level as the language learner so listeners may not get their full value. But at GermanPod101, our podcasts are created for every skill level so you don’t waste any time on material that isn’t relevant or suited to your exact needs.

-Sing Along to German Songs: Remember, just immersing yourself in a language can create passive learning and improve your pronunciation. Plus, with GermanPod101, you can sing along and memorize the lyrics, and then look the words up and add them to your personal dictionary.

-Playing Word Games or Trivia: There are audio games available online that you can download to any media device and listen to on your commute. Although we recommend this option for more advanced users, games are a fun and productive way to learn German in your car because they require listening and comprehension skills.

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You won’t recognize or understand every word you hear in a German song, podcast, or game—but that’s ok. The daily repetition and immersion in the language leads to passive learning that gradually increases your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. And the greater your foundation in grammar and vocabulary, the more you’ll understand and learn from the audio lessons, podcasts, or whatever you listen to while learning German in your car.

Yes, you can learn German while driving because it leads to passive learning via daily immersion in the language. Although you may not understand all or even most of what you hear at first, the exposure helps improve pronunciation, vocabulary, and even grammar over time. Learning a language while driving also helps transform your commute into exciting “exotic adventures” that secretly teach you German in the process. Podcasts, songs, and even games can all help you learn German in your car while eliminating the “boring commute” in the process!

At GermanPod101, we have more than 2500+ HD audio lessons and podcasts for every skill level that you can download and use to learn German while driving!
So don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on GermanPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in German!

4 Reasons Why German Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need German slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning German slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak German? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning German or any new language.

reasons to learn german slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout German Culture

If you turn on any popular German TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning German slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, German culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate German slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning German slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual German people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from German TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right German slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At GermanPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the German slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

German slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At GermanPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on GermanPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in German!

How to Learn German in Your Car?

How to Learn German in Your Car? Learn language in car

Stuck in traffic? Losing time in your car? Have you ever felt that in all this wasted time, you could have watched the 750 episodes of One Piece, finished the last Super Mario ten times, or even better…you could have learned German? Between family, friends and work, in addition to this time-consuming commute, it can become difficult to find time to properly learn German.

Fortunately, every problem has a solution, and what could be a better solution than turning that commute time into learning time? Stop passing the time mindlessly listening to the radio and try some of our best tips for mastering German in your car!

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You can learn German in your car, hands free
While driving, it’s important that you keep your focus on the road, so this is why our top tips won’t require you to use your hands!

Listening to German audio content in the car is a good way to learn
This is because it is a fun and efficient way to learn. With GermanPod101.com podcasts, you will be able to discover German culture through topics about everyday life. Instead of the radio, listen to a German podcast adapted to your level, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and you will make progress sooner that you would expect!

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You can listen to German music in the car
Did you know that you can learn German by singing while driving? Listen to songs from cartoon or drama and try to identify some words you learned.

Challenge yourself! Use the German you’ve studied up to this point and see how much you understand! Making the jump to real-life German is a scary one, but friendly children’s songs are a great place to start!

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You can learn alone in your car
When you’re driving alone, you can be as loud as you want – there is nothing better for remembering your German lessons than repeating loudly, again and again. Next time you see a driver who seems to be talking alone, you will know he or she is just learning German!

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You can learn through repetition with your passengers
If there are passengers in the car, it can be more stimulating to learn together. You can set a role play with German dialogues. With GermanPod101.com, you can download all the lessons transcript including the dialogues, as a PDF. Print it out and have some fun speaking in German!

One of the passengers can answer the quiz available on each of our lessons, while another can correct that person. Listening to someone at a more advanced level of German or a better accent is positive and helps you improve.

You can learn German offline
Do you have a poor connection or are unable to use the Internet? It’s not a problem for learning German! Before you start your commute, use our App to download the lessons you want to study and the podcast you want to listen to in your car, and you will be able to enjoy your lessons offline. Entering a tunnel won’t be a problem anymore. What a pleasure to listen to audio content without having the host freezing every 5 seconds!

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Click here to download the App and learn offline!

You can learn every day at your own pace
One of the best approaches for learning a language is little by little and often. It’s not efficient to take in a huge amount of information at one time. What you need is to study on a regular basis – a little bit of German every day. You commute several days a week, and that is all time you can take advantage of!

You have the freedom to choose the lessons and podcasts you want to focus on, at your own rhythm. You may want to do a little revision or discover how to talk about a new topic. And if you’re wondering what to learn next, you can use the new Learning Paths, which is our customized pathway feature that gives you a step-by-step way to learn German without getting lost!

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Click here to access Learning Paths at GermanPod101!

If you don’t have a car and commute by another method, these tips are still valid! Learning German is no longer limited to the classroom or your house; there are so many benefits to learning in your car or elsewhere. Reaching a conversational level will take you less time than you could ever have imagined! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

Top 10 Lines You Need for Introducing Yourself in German

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Click here to listen how to pronounce those phrases!

  • Mein Name ist Anna.
    My name is Anna.

  • Ich komme aus Deutschland.
    I’m from Germany.

  • Ich lebe in Berlin.
    I live in Berlin.

  • Ich lerne seit einem Jahr Deutsch.
    I’ve been learning German for a year.

  • Ich lerne Deutsch auf GermanPod101.com.
    I’m learning German at GermanPod101.com.

  • Hallo, es ist schön, Sie kennenzulernen.
    Hello, it’s nice to meet you.

  • Ich bin 27 Jahre alt.
    I’m 27 years old.

  • Ich bin Lehrer.
    I’m a teacher.

  • Eines meiner Hobbys ist Lesen.
    One of my hobbies is reading.

  • Ich höre gerne Musik.
    I enjoy listening to music.

    Make friends? Want to impress native speakers?
    Learn German with our other vocabulary lists!

  • 10 Monthly Goals to become fluent in German

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    Hey German Learner!

    Shortcuts for learning and tips to remember German words are useful but it’s even also important to fix objectives to reach every month! What Is Your Language Learning Goal for the Month?
    In your journey to become fluent and conversational here are 10 monthly goals you can go after!

    Click Here To Start Learning German Right Now!

    1) I’ll finish Survival Phrases series on GermanPod101.com by listening to two lesson a day.

    2) I’ll give a 3 minute introductory speech in German to my German friends.

    3) I’ll finish reading one German book by reading 10 pages a day.

    4) I’ll pass my German test.

    5) I’ll write 10 postcards in German to my German friends.

    6) I’ll memorize 5 German songs.

    7) I’ll finish memorizing 350 words with Flashcards on GermanPod101.com.

    8 ) I’ll fully understand one German movie by watching it every day.

    9) I’ll learn how to talk about past, present and future events.

    10) I’ll master 150 words by memorizing 5 words a day.

    No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

    If you follow those monthly goals, you will be sure to make some amazing progress. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at GermanPod101.com!

    How to be a Good Lover in Germany

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    Click here to listen how to pronounce those lovely words!

    - Ich liebe dich.
    I love you.

    - Du bedeutest mir sehr viel.
    You mean so much to me.

    - Möchtest du mein Valentin sein?
    Will you be my Valentine?

    - Sie sind so schön.
    You’re so beautiful.

    - Du bist mehr als nur ein Freund für mich.
    I think of you as more than a friend.

    - Hundert Herzen wären zu wenige, um all meine Liebe zu dir zu tragen.
    A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

    - Liebe ist nur Liebe. Es kann niemals erklärt werden.
    Love is just love. It can never be explained.

    - Du bist so schön.
    You’re so handsome.

    - Ich bin in dich verknallt.
    I’ve got a crush on you.

    - Du machst mich zu einem besseren Menschen.
    You make me want to be a better man.

    - Lasse deine Handlungen in der Liebe geschehen.
    Let all that you do be done in love.

    - Du bist mein Sonnenschein, meine Liebe.
    You are my sunshine, my love.

    - Worte können meine Liebe zu dir nicht beschreiben.
    Words can’t describe my love for you.

    - Wir waren füreinander bestimmt.
    We were meant to be together.

    - Solltest du - während du diese Zeilen liest - über jemanden nachdenken, bist du auf jeden Fall verliebt.
    If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

    Break up? Want to impress friends? Learn German with our other vocabulary lists!

    Bier

    The picture of the beer drinking Germans is well used abroad. Indeed the cliche of a nation of beer drinkers is based on real facts. With a consumption of more than 110 liters per head Germany holds the second position in Europe. Only Czech people drink more.
    But not only the consumption of beer in Germany is high, but also is the assortment of different kinds. Estimations say there are more than 5000 different beers.


    Of course you won’t find all of them on the shelves in the supermarkets. Many beers come from small breweries which sell their products regional or direct to the customers. Nevertheless there is an impressive assortment in a German drinks cash-and-carry. In addition to regional and national kinds of beer you will find many international ones. Popular brands are for example Miller and Heineken. With this huge number of beers it is not easy to keep track of all of them.


    The most important national kinds are pilsner, wheat beer, lager, dark beer and bock beer. In addition there are regional beers like “Alt” from the Niederrhein, “Kölsch” from Cologne and “Berliner Weiße” from Berlin. Some regional kinds of beer have loyal devotees. In the region between the big cities Düsseldorf and Cologne people are friendly arguing on the topic who enjoys the more tastefull beer. People from Düsseldorf swear by their “Alt”, people from Cologne defend their “Kölsch” emphatically. A special position on the beer market is held by the federal state of Bavaria. More than 50 percent of all German breweries are located here. Nearly every hamlet has its own small brewery.

    Ratingen

     Ratingen is located in immediate proximity to Düsseldorf. With more than 90,000 inhabitants the town is middle-sized. People who like being outside in nature, can explore the woods which surround Ratingen. There are many paths for walkers, bikers and people on horseback. Furthermore the recreation parc “Green Lake” and the open air theatre at the “Blue Lake” are popular destinations.The centre of Ratingen is the townplace with its fountain and the surrounding old houses. Three times a week it is market day. 


    Then it is possible to buy meat, cheese and flowers here. Extremely favored are fresh vegetables and fruits, which are mainly grown on farms in the Ratingen’s environment. In combination with “St. Peter and Paul”, the old church, the marketplace is a nice setting for many city festivals. A special experience is a summer evenig at the market place. If the weather is fine, it is barely possible to get a seat in one of the beer gardens. Nearly every chair is occupied, normally until 11 p.m. No wonder – the atmosphere ist fantastic. 
    It is best, when the sinking sun baths the historical buildings at the market place in a golden light. Ratingen is an old town. A settlement of that name was first mentioned in the 9th century. In 1276 the settlement gained its town charter. Shortly after that the construction of the city wall begun. Until today three towers and some other parts of the fortification survive. 


    On a trip to Ratingen you should not miss it. You will get an extremly good impression of the fortification and its construction at the “Big Tower”. In addition to the city wall you can see parts of the city moat there. Ratingen is located between three freeways. There is no place in the city from where one needs more than 15 minutes to reach a freeway entrance ramp. Furthermore the train connections to Essen and Düsseldorf are good and the airport in Düsseldorf can be reached in just a few minutes. Because of its good travel connections and the proximity to Düsseldorf Ratingen’s economically growth is good. Since local business taxes are less high than in other areas many companys from sunrise industries are moving to Ratingen.

    Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?

    Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?

    One of the most important things to learn about a language, aside from introductions, is how to apologize in case you find yourself in the unfortunate situation that you need to do so.
    In the case of German, the most general word of apology is “Entschuldigung“. This literally means “apology“, and
    it’s used in most situations:

    • when you’ve accidentally done something bad
    • when you want somebody’s attention
    • when you want people to make room

    Keep in mind though, that you should not use it when somebody tells some sad news about themselves, because that is not something you
    should apologize for – unless you had any stake in it.

    If you need something stronger than “Entschuldigung”, use “Es tut mir leid“ (literally translates to ‘ it does me
    harm’ ).
    And you can make it even stronger by adding an adverb before the “ - leid”.
    For example,

    Es tut mir wirklich leid. - I’m really sorry.
    Es tut mir sehr leid. - I’m very sorry.

    And what to do in case that a friend is the one that is apologizing to you? In this case, the words used to accept an apology informally are:
    Es ist (schon) okay. - It’s okay (now).
    Kein Problem. - No problem.